Please: an adverb, used as a polite addition to requests, commands, etc.
I’m Jewish, but I often attend church with my Christian husband and our daughter, who, although she will gladly participate in Shabbat candle lighting and any holiday involving matzoh balls, has let me know emphatically that her spiritual path is different from mine.
Not a problem. I believe God speaks to us in different languages and through many different faiths. In fact, I love our little church with its diverse, devout congregation. These folks live their lives in wholeness and holiness. They walk their talk quietly and with enviable grace.
But the Sunday school? Oy gevalt!
Young children frequently forget their manners, of course, but what surprises me is the Sunday school teachers’ reluctance to rein in our vilda chaya. Let me say here and now: If my child develops a mental block around politeness, go ahead and correct her.
I am sure the disciples used “please” and “thank you” at the Last Supper. I bet they helped clean up. And when Jesus spoke, I’m guessing they gave him their attention. I’m sure no one wants to offend a parent, but better you should offend me than allow my child to offend you.
Yes, “please” and “thank you” are my parenting pet peeves. Over the years I have doled out a quantity of snacks roughly equivalent to the number of hors d’oeuvres served at Kate and Williams’ wedding. I’m guessing I’ll double that output in the years to come. How many thank yous have I heard from the children who are not mine? Too few, dear reader, too few.
Now, I’m not claiming my precious angel is perfect. Oh-ho no. When we’re in Chinese restaurants, she still sucks the filling out of the egg rolls…oh, wait. That’s me. Well, her table manners aren’t the best, either. She learned from her parents, after all, and we’re not on the Queen’s guest list, believe you me.
And, of course, my daughter has a few other habits we need to break. Like sitting in lectures and workshops, rudely passing notes with her friends and giggling at things that have nothing whatsoever to do with the topic at hand–
Oops. Me again.
Dang. But the giggling in workshops thing? Honestly, that is almost always Carolyn’s fault. She talks to me and obviously I don’t want her to think I’m rude so I answer. If you read “Girl Fight” and “Cat Fight” then you know a couple of weeks ago we dragged two formerly polite and gracious women down with us.
Honestly, what is wrong with adults these days?
What are your politeness pet peeves?
Wendy…off to learn some manners. Thank you for reading.